Since July 2019, Texas-bred rapper Tay-K has been serving a 55-year prison sentence. Found guilty of murdering then-21-year-old Ethan Walker during a home invasion in his hometown in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Tay-K was tried as an adult even though he was 16 at the time of the crime (2016).
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In a new letter he penned for his supporters, Tay-K discusses the injustices that took place during his trial, such as the length of his sentence. Accompanying a large group of men during the murder, he did not pull the trigger that killed Walker, he claims.
“Not sure if y’all know but I got sentenced as an adult to 55 years in prison for a crime where I wasn’t even the shooter,” he wrote. “I wasn’t even alleged to have a gun. I was never even suspected to have pulled a trigger or hurt anyone. I was young and didn’t have no positive figures around.”
Elsewhere in the long note posted to Instagram, he reflects on his life behind bars thus far, and how much he appreciates fans who are still riding with him.
“I’m sitting here thinking about all my fans. I love and miss y’all,” he wrote. “I know there’s a lot that I haven’t directly spoke on and there R many things my fans know but I’m not sure everybody else does. I’ve been here for 5 ½ years now and I feel indebted to y’all for going so crazy behind me. It’s still crazy to me that I never had a chance to live outside as an adult. I’ve been locked up and in and out of the ‘justice’ and CPS system 4 my whole life.”
While on the run from authorities for three months following Walker’s death, Tay-K was involved in another murder in San Antonio, Texas. Just months after his first guilty verdict in 2019, he was indicted again for the murder of Mark Anthony Saldivar in November of that year. Currently, Tay-K is serving prison time for the first murder in San Antonio’s Bexar County Adult Detention Center, while awaiting trial for his second murder case.
Around the time of his legal troubles, Tay-K was a bubbling hip-hop star, whose most successful single “The Race” peaked at No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since been certified platinum by RIAA. Although his music pre-prison reflected the lawless life he led, he mentioned in his recent message that he now hopes to inspire others to shun violence and stay positive.
“I love my fans and I don’t want any 1 to think I’m promoting or really recommending violence,” he said. “That’s why I really dedicated a lot of my time in here to using the success of my music to have a positive impact on other young artists, even if it is something small like taking a phone call or writing a letter to keep them positively inspired, regardless of my situation. The movement is Eternal.”